Saturday, April 17, 2010

So what did I end up presenting on?

So a few weeks ago I wrote about a collaborative project for school which I would be working on.

So what did I end up doing for my portion? Well, I decided that it was important to talk about dynamics online, and how the feminist blogosphere has and continues to reproduce the oppressions faced in "real life" organizing. As just one example of this I discussed Amanda Marcotte's appropriation of bfp's work a couple years ago. Those of you who were there...I'm sure you remember what I'm talking about. For those who weren't there...Sylvia and Gwen break it down (these are two posts I assigned as readings!).

The central article to this ended up being bfp's essay "Immigration at the Front: Challenging the Every Woman Myth in Online Media" from make/shift magazine's second issue (which is, naturally, excellent). I picked this because it seemed to sum up really well the good and the bad about online organizing. The good: reaches people in isolated communities and brings them together, and it's possible to mobilize a lot of people quickly. The bad: tends to address the same "mainstream" interests as other forms of organizing, and marginalizes everyone else, because of our belief in the "every woman."

The group brought up some other stuff (like about the Anonymous attack on feminist blogs, MMORPG's, and Second Life) but these first three articles ended up being the main things I discussed with the class. Since this was primarily our facilitating discussion with the class based on the readings we assigned it wasn't super structured but we covered a lot of topics, like about the unequal power relations between blogs/bloggers, which bloggers benefit monetarily from their work, who is the "every woman" (hint: white middle class able-bodied cis women!), who is marginalized, how people respond to privilege being called out, and online harassment. And overall I felt like things went really well, people were engaged with the conversation and asking questions.

So yeah, I was pretty happy with it.